Obama uses Internet to his advantage

On Aug. 29, President Obama did something that honestly surprised me.

But first, a little background on what Reddit is. Reddit is a a user generated social news website that has been around since 2005. Users on Reddit are able to post memes, blog posts, news articles and other forms of media in hopes of getting “upvoted” and put on the front page, or risk getting ‘downvoted’ if the reader, or the “redditor” feels like the post isn’t worth getting upvoted to the front page. Along with the front page posts, there are subreddit sections where certain topics go, like “Ask Reddit” to “Today I Learned,” and “IAMA,” or “I am a… Ask me anything.”

The demographics for Reddit tend to be men, between the ages of 25 to 30 that have had some college education and sitting in the range of the lowest income bracket ($0-$24,000). But Reddit has been known to attract other demographics to their community, like men of other ages and even women to their site.

But now, I bet you’re asking yourself, “Why is she talking about Reddit when she started off talking about President Obama doing something surprising?”

For a half hour Wednesday afternoon, President Obama took time out of his day to post a thread — “I am Barack Obama, President of the United States — AMA.” (AMA- Ask me anything.)

In order to verify that it was the man himself, the OP (Original Post) had a link to Obama’s Twitter account with the link. He also had a tag with –ob on the end, the tag used to differentiate a Tweet done by one of his staff members and if he actually Tweets something himself. Along with the verification from Twitter, there was also a photo linked to the page of Obama sitting down at a laptop.

While the president was on Reddit, the site experienced heavy traffic, causing the site to crash near the end of his session answering questions on topics from the most difficult decision that he has made during his term (“The decision to surge our forces in Afghanistan.”) to the first thing that he would do on Nov. 7, if he wins or loses (“…I’ll be thanking everyone who is working so hard…”) along with increasing funds to the space program, family life along with being POTUS, and personal questions like who his favorite basketball player is (“Jordan — I’m a Bulls guy.”) And “What’s the recipe for the White House’s beer?” (“It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.”)

Looking back at how Obama won the 2008 election by doing something unprecedented, an innovative way to capture the attention of the younger generations of American voters that spend their time on the Internet using social media tools like Twitter to gain the support of the under 30 crowd.

He also broke barriers and got more Hispanic voters to go and vote.

Personally, as someone that follows the news by using Twitter (I am following half a dozen American news sources and two international news sources to see what’s going on overseas and their interpretations of what’s going on in America) I am more willing to accept a candidate that is connecting with people my age by how we communicate.

Obama set the bar in 2008 with using the internet as a way to connect.

And then comes the 2012 Republican presidential nominee stuff happened with the antics of everyone’s favorite GOP team from Rick Perry, to Michelle Bachman, to Herman Caine and his 9-9-9 plan, to good old T-Paw (Tim Pawlenty) Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul and the GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

For a little while this time last year, I watched all of them attempt to use Twitter in their own ways, and they simply could not do what Obama has done from writing Tweets himself about national events, international events and even wishing his wife, Michelle, a happy Valentine’s Day.

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